Amida’s homeschool day in life (with a 4-, 8-, 13-, and 16-year-old)


Written by Amida from Journey into Unschooling.

Another year, another day in the life! I can’t believe I’ve been writing these for the past four years!

Choosing a day to represent your homeschool is no easy feat, but this time around, I thought I’d share how a typical day went when I was uninspired and just winging it (and I’m sure we all have our moments).


The day started off very slowly. I knew I wanted my 8-year-old to get some work done, but was just very unmotivated to get started.

Then I spotted some left over origami paper from the bookmark projects we had worked on a few days ago (nothing ever gets put away around here) and got totally distracted and started making dolls.

Hey, they were pretty fun! I shared my procrastination funk with my friends online and they were very motivating. “That’s art! And culture! And math!” they said.

Sure, except I was the one doing all the work, and well, I kind of graduated 3rd grade years ago.
[Read more…]

And then they hated math: My journey into unschooling


Written by contributor Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

remember the first time I called myself an unschooler. I had just read John Holt’s Teach Your Own and was impressed with his vision of an alternative educational style in which children were encouraged to learn outside of school.

He saw children as scientists, eager and capable of exploring and experimenting with the world around them. Yes, I thought, that is exactly what I wanted my children to experience.

I had visions of them spending their days wandering through nature, collecting and identifying leaves, filling notepads with their amazingly original stories, learning math, engineering, civics, and science through a year-long project of designing and building a cardboard, solar-powered city.

It was learning at its fantastical best — fun, natural, and meaningful.
[Read more…]

Socialization … for moms


Written by Amida at Journey into Unschooling. She has met a lot of friendly moms at park days.

Socialization seems to be a sort of taboo subject among homeschoolers. More often than not, when questioned, we get defensive and rattle off a whole list of opportunities that meet our child’s social needs.

Most veterans I know scoff at the notion that there even is an issue. After all, they argue, my kids have ample opportunities to meet with a wide range of people and ages in a natural, organic way. They aren’t just limited to their peer-group.

It’s the way friendships work in the real world!

It’s been my experience, however, that socialization, and specifically, friends, don’t always come easily when you don’t have a ready-made peer group. Sure, your kids may have a knack for talking up the local postman or supermarket clerk, but, I also want my kids to grow up with friends their age.

Fortunately for you, the rumors are true. Kids do make friends almost effortlessly. Just throw them in with other kids and eventually, even your shy wallflower has a good chance of clicking with someone.

It’s the moms I’m worried about here. Certainly, your career-minded best friend isn’t going to understand your survival mechanisms for 24-7 mom/chauffeur/teacher/housekeeper duty.

You need another homeschooling mom.
[Read more…]

The importance of having a cheat day


Contributor amida blogs at Journey into Unschooling. She could definitely use a cheat day today.

Let’s face it, homeschooling is hard work: you’re with the kids 24/7, with the responsibility of their entire educational experience and academic success, not to mention their emotional and physical needs — and if you’re real lucky, the state of your house — resting on your shoulders — every single day.

That’s a big load for anybody and, without proper breaks, could quickly lead to burnout.

That’s why, like any successful diet plan, it is so important to have built-in cheat days, when you can veer off the regularly scheduled programming and give yourself and your brood permission to take it easy.
[Read more…]

Raising chickens and the art of project-based learning


Contributor Amida is currently obsessed with chickens and often blogs about them at Journey Into Unschooling

This summer, I decided to ditch the school work and focus on a more natural learning style, allowing our interest to dictate which topics we would explore. For my three-year-old, it was the different structures at the playground and figuring out daredevil ways to get the most play out of them. My teenage son had a newfound interest in knives and began his personal research on the various types and their pros and cons.

For me, it all boiled down to chickens.

Project-based learning is something I’ve always believed in and aspire to integrate in our home learning environment.

For years, I’ve dreamt of the perfect summer project. The opportunity finally came when we met a couple of chicks facing eviction from the community garden, where they had set up residence without permission.

[Read more…]